22 September 2015

“Far from the Madding Crowd”

Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, this is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.

Bathsheba's three suitors could hardly be more different. Most people will probably make an early choice as to who is the right one for her, although at times sympathies will probably hover over two possibilities. That said, most will have a preference as to the eventual outcome of the story but, being Hardy, one can't dare to hope that this will be realised.

Hardy’s English countryside is beautifully captured, as is the depiction of farm life in those distant non-mechanised days. It was no doubt far less romantic than it appears. Complemented by contemporary interiors and costumes it all adds up to a compelling period drama.